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  • #342169

    Anonymous

    LÖCKNITZ, GERMANY — It is boom time in Löcknitz, a small town in one of the poorest regions of eastern Germany. The many houses that fell empty after German reunification in 1990 when the young and educated from what had been Communist East Germany moved out have found new owners. The kindergartens are full. New schools are being built. Placards hanging on streetlights have big, bold print that is hard to miss: Property Wanted!

    The reason for this boom is the Poles.

    In a surprising twist of the Polish-German relationship, which for centuries had been dominated by war, conquest and ethnic cleansing, some Poles have now come to settle among their less-well-off German neighbors.

    So much so that in Löcknitz, they are giving the town a new lease on life. “If there were no Poles here, the place would be completely empty,” said Artur Sobejko, 35, a Polish doctor who speaks fluent German.

    Eight years ago, Mr. Sobejko and his wife, an economist, moved to Löcknitz. They bought a house. He set up his medical practice. “For a doctor, the conditions are much better here than in Poland,” Mr. Sobejko said.

    But there is another reason why Poles are attracted to Löcknitz and other towns along this part of Germany’s northeastern border with Poland. Property is affordable compared with Szczecin, the thriving and prosperous Polish port on the Baltic Sea that is a mere 20-minute drive from Löcknitz.

    “For the same style of house, you would pay €250,000 in Szczecin compared to around €35,000 here in Löcknitz,” Mr. Sobejko said, or about $350,000 versus $50,000. “Young couples wanting families simply cannot afford to buy back home.” According to Szczecin’s labor office, the average monthly salary is €750. No wonder, then, that Löcknitz has become a magnet for young Poles.

    The impact on the town is remarkable.

    Some of the signs are in German and Polish. The mayor’s office employs a Pole, who lives in Löcknitz, to help new residents overcome the bureaucratic hurdles in settling. Lothar Meistring, the town’s mayor, said nearly a fifth of new births each year are to Poles, who already make up 13 percent of the town’s 3,200 inhabitants.

    “Only 2 percent of the houses are now empty,” Mr. Meistring said, which explains why real estate agents are advertising for property.

    Yet Poles who choose to live in Löcknitz and other towns and villages in this part of Germany have no illusions. There are few jobs. The local industry collapsed after reunification. Mr. Meistring said the unemployment rate was more than 24 per cent. “The Poles who live here commute to their jobs in Szczecin,” said Andrzej Szmucinski, a ship engineer from that city, where the unemployment rate is 8.7 percent.

    What a reversal of fortunes for Poland, which on July 1 takes over the rotating E.U. presidency.

    Ever since the Poles joined the European Union in 2004, hundreds of thousands have moved to Britain and Ireland, Sweden and France and Germany. Despite earning more than they would back home, they have found that property in Poland is too expensive. Some found a solution. With the steady improvement in relations between Poland and Germany, some Poles have opted to live in Germany and work in Poland.

    Not everybody is happy about that. In eastern Germany particularly, there is a strong neo-Nazi, xenophobic movement that can sometimes turn violently anti-Polish. Many others quietly share the prejudices that have persisted over centuries.

    But still, the recent shift signals an extraordinary change between these two European countries.

    For so long, they had stored up prejudices about each other. Hitler had contempt for the Poles, regarding them as inferior and uncivilized. When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, they made every attempt to destroy the country’s cultural heritage. This deep-seated loathing of Poles by Germans was continued and encouraged under Communism rule.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/world/europe/28iht-letter28.html?_r=1&ref=poland

    #363555

    Anonymous

    This topic shouldn’t be discussed on Polish national board. It is not related to Poland as a nation, it is more suitable to Slavic related news.

    #363556

    Anonymous

    Good point, Prelja, I'll move it now after I post.

    My two cents on this: if current population of that land (either retired old Germans or unemployed NPD boneheads) are unable to cultivate it, then I say it's very good we move in. This was all Slavic land anyway before and belongs rightfully to ancient Polabian and Sorbian people, who were forcefully Germanized, so by buying up this dumps, we are slowly but surely reclaiming what is rightfully ours as Slavs.

    When one travels along some border towns in former DDR, one can see that many of them are dead and abandoned. Poles and Czechs working close by should without hesitation buy up that property and secure Slavic presence in all this areas. If Germans could do it, why can't we?

    #363557

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Good point, Prelja, I'll move it now after I post.

    Thanks Wilko. We have to keep our national Polish board clear  :D ;)

    #363558

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    My two cents on this: if current population of that land (either retired old Germans or unemployed NPD boneheads) are unable to cultivate it, then I say it's very good we move in. This was all Slavic land anyway before and belongs rightfully to ancient Polabian and Sorbian people, who were forcefully Germanized, so by buying up this dumps, we are slowly but surely reclaiming what is rightfully ours as Slavs.

    When one travels along some border towns in former DDR, one can see that many of them are dead and abandoned. Poles and Czechs working close by should without hesitation buy up that property and secure Slavic presence in all this areas. If Germans could do it, why can't we?

    That's a pretty bold idea considering that we are very much past the colonial/imperialist era! However, Germany does have an aging population and the country overall is in a slump, while Slavic Europe is on the rise in more ways than one. Thus, I'd say that your idea, Wilkolak, also just makes sense. Slavs ought to realize and fully take advantage of their strategic reality in Europe. Bringing to light ancient Slavic culture in Germanized land, such as Arkona, should be one those moves.

    #363559

    Anonymous

    Slovaks are colonizing Hungary in the same way.

    #363560

    Anonymous

    @Husarz

    I am not suggesting colonialism/imperialism like we did Eastward, but covertly retaking what was once ours through demographic majority and building up areas which East Germans have neglected. Of course I am not suggesting war or force of any sorts. It must all be done peacefully.

    @Zrkadlo

    Hungary (once Moravia), like East Germany (once land of Polabians and Sorbs), was ancient Slavic land and it would be great for it to also slowly return to our hands. Hungarians and East Germans are genetically same as Slavs anyway, which just goes to show who they are.

    #363561

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    My two cents on this: if current population of that land (either retired old Germans or unemployed NPD boneheads) are unable to cultivate it, then I say it's very good we move in. This was all Slavic land anyway before and belongs rightfully to ancient Polabian and Sorbian people, who were forcefully Germanized, so by buying up this dumps, we are slowly but surely reclaiming what is rightfully ours as Slavs.

    Quote:
    Bringing to light ancient Slavic culture in Germanized land, such as Arkona, should be one those moves.

    To return the lands with Arkona, Stargrad and Radgosc (Rethra) would be great holiday for all Slavs! I wish it would occur sometime!
    That's why Poles beginning to inhabit the old Slavic lands is very joyful news for me :) But by the way it's sad that our forum doesn't have, as I know, any Sorbian members. One should try to attract some of them here.
    To conclude my post, Poles, try to populate these lands of Germany with as many people as possible! ;D

    #363562

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    @Husarz

    I am not suggesting colonialism/imperialism like we did Eastward, but covertly retaking what was once ours through demographic majority and building up areas which East Germans have neglected. Of course I am not suggesting war or force of any sorts. It must all be done peacefully.

    Yes, that's what I meant. Germans, neglected it, it used to be Slavic, now Slavs have a chance to retake. And they should.

    Quote:
    To conclude my post, Poles, try to populate these lands of Germany with as many people as possible! ;D

    2011 – Löcknitz
    2061 – Lechnica?  ::)

    Though, Slavs should not neglect their own lands. First and foremost, we should make our part of Europe as best as it can be. Projecting power and influence beyond, should always come secondary, and only if necessary.

    #363563

    Anonymous

    Zrkadlo already wrote it, this situation reminds us moving of the Slovaks to Rajka, a village on the other side of Danube. It's close to Bratislava where these Slovaks work, but they chose to live in northern Hungary because of lower prices.

    That's true these areas were originally Slavic, but I'm not sure whether this is a safe investment. What if the EU will collapse? Then.. what if the Schengen area will be abolished, let's say, in 50 years? I hardly doubt this will happen in a peaceful way and then all of those old animosities between Europeans will come to light again.. As for Germany, the Germans will look for an enemy and they could easily accuse the Poles.. So, let's count : aggressive German policy + closed borders + new Polish settlers => this may lead to the expatriation of the Poles back to Poland only with knapsacks at their backs. They will possibly lose their houses and all property in Germany. On the other hand, if all of those catastrophic scenarios won't happen, children or grandchildren of these Poles won't work in Szczecin, but elsewhere in Germany, they will marry German women, thus they will assimilate into German society and this will be the end of any retaking plans of ancient Slavic lands in Germany  :P  On the present I do prefer homogeneous countries.. better 100% Polish Poland and 100% German Germany than 80% Polish Poland and 50% German Germany… I know I know, those areas were Slavic once.. but it's the past now. Just like Hungary – it was Slavic and it was not Hungary, but it's the past and now it's Hungary and it's mostly Hungarian.

    Btw. I took a look at the map around Löcknitz and there are many Slavic names of villages/towns.. from this point of view it is interesting. Yes, Löcknitz could be Lechnica. The others – Grambow, Brüssow, Krackow, Güritz, Polzow, Rossow, Prenzlau, Grünow (possibly Zielonow), Zichow, Passow, Koblentz, Tantow, Torgelow, Lunow etc.

    #363564

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Zrkadlo already wrote it, this situation reminds us moving of the Slovaks to Rajka, a village on the other side of Danube. It's close to Bratislava where these Slovaks work, but they chose to live in northern Hungary because of lower prices.

    That's true these areas were originally Slavic, but I'm not sure whether this is a safe investment. What if the EU will collapse? Then.. what if the Schengen area will be abolished, let's say, in 50 years? I hardly doubt this will happen in a peaceful way and then all of those old animosities between Europeans will come to light again.. As for Germany, the Germans will look for an enemy and they could easily accuse the Poles.. So, let's count : aggressive German policy + closed borders + new Polish settlers => this may lead to the expatriation of the Poles back to Poland only with knapsacks at their backs. They will possibly lose their houses and all property in Germany. On the other hand, if all of those catastrophic scenarios won't happen, children or grandchildren of these Poles won't work in Szczecin, but elsewhere in Germany, they will marry German women, thus they will assimilate into German society and this will be the end of any retaking plans of ancient Slavic lands in Germany  :P  On the present I do prefer homogeneous countries.. better 100% Polish Poland and 100% German Germany than 80% Polish Poland and 50% German Germany… I know I know, those areas were Slavic once.. but it's the past now. Just like Hungary – it was Slavic and it was not Hungary, but it's the past and now it's Hungary and it's mostly Hungarian.

    Btw. I took a look at the map around Löcknitz and there are many Slavic names of villages/towns.. from this point of view it is interesting. Yes, Löcknitz could be Lechnica. The others – Grambow, Brüssow, Krackow, Güritz, Polzow, Rossow, Prenzlau, Grünow (possibly Zielonow), Zichow, Passow, Koblentz, Tantow, Torgelow, Lunow etc.

    I mostly agree with you here. This situation bears a lot of conflict potential. On the other hand Poles are helping a depraved area by investing and settling there…difficult topic for sure.

    #363565

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I mostly agree with you here. This situation bears a lot of conflict potential. On the other hand Poles are helping a depraved area by investing and settling there…difficult topic for sure.

    Yeah, it's difficult. Too many pro and contra. Of course, they do that what Germans should do. But there is a saying – Za dobrotu na žobrotu, that means Too  much goodness makes one a beggar.

    #363566

    Anonymous

    Yeah, there is a lot of conflict potential here. Especially since the area around Löcknitz is one of two federal states in Germany where the NPD party has representation in the regional parliament. It is a fairly small representation, but still, the NPD is active there and they always seek to cultivate anti-Polish sentiment. For Poles to counter that with German bashing would be stupid and just light the powder keg that the NPD hopes to then exploit.

    As cheesy as it may sound, wouldn't just a good neighbor policy be the best solution? This would allow for the rediscovering of Slavic history in those areas without being outright invasive. Though, forecasting here can only accomplish so much. We must remain in tune with the situation and play it by ear.

    #363567

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Yeah, there is a lot of conflict potential here. Especially since the area around Löcknitz is one of two federal states in Germany where the NPD party has representation in the regional parliament. It is a fairly small representation, but still, the NPD is active there and they always seek to cultivate anti-Polish sentiment. For Poles to counter that with German bashing would be stupid and just light the powder keg that the NPD hopes to then exploit.

    That's what I'm worried about, too. No matter how both sides profit from the situation, NPD-boneheads and old prejudices will portray the Poles as something bad and evil. I read somewhere that NPD started anti-Polish campaigns and Polish cars were damaged there although the Poles did nothing bad in Löcknitz and, as already said, they care for the old houses, invest in the town, even create jobs for the population. History really played bad for German-Polish relations.

    As cheesy as it may sound, wouldn't just a good neighbor policy be the best solution? This would allow for the rediscovering of Slavic history in those areas without being outright invasive. Though, forecasting here can only accomplish so much. We must remain in tune with the situation and play it by ear.

    Exactly my thoughts.

    #363568

    Anonymous

    One anti-Polish campaign of the NPD. Copies of this poster were hung around Löcknitz and surrounding towns on September 1st, a very specific date in German-Polish history.

    [img width=480 height=700]http://www.eurorex.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Plakat-Polen-Invasion-stoppen.jpg”/>

    It's losers like the NPD that give all honest nationalists a bad name.

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